The classic TV series Married…With Children had a talented cast, including Ted McGinley. The former Happy Days star joined the sitcom in later seasons as Jefferson D’Arcy. But before landing the big role, the actor had a guest appearance on the show.
Ted McGinley played Jefferson D’Arcy on ‘Married…With Children’
When Married…With Children debuted in 1987, the show focused on the Bundy family and their neighbors Steve and Marcy Rhoades (David Garrison and Amanda Bearse). When Garrison left in 1990, the writers had Steve divorce Marcy, then leave town. The producers began searching for a new man for Marcy and found him in McGinley.
McGinley joined the cast in 1991 and his debut came in the Season 5 episode “Married…With Who.” A hungover Marcy wakes after a wild night at a banker convention to learn she married Jefferson. Marcy falls hard and fast for the handsome stranger; and the Bundys throw a wedding for the couple in their backyard. Yet, Marcy learns her new husband isn’t who he says he is.
Throughout the series, Jefferson has a reputation as a gold digger and often spends Marcy’s money, which infuriates her. Although Jefferson tries to stand up to Marcy, she wearst he pants in the family. Jefferson oftens spends time with Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) and their No Ma’am coming up with an outrageous scheme.
Jefferson hides secrets from Marcy, including that he’s CIA spy. He tends to use his political connections to help out his buddies.
Ted McGinley previously guest-starred on a holiday episode
McGinley played Jefferson for six years until Married…With Children‘s cancellation in June 1997. Although fans know the actor as Jefferson, what they may not know is McGinley guest-starred in a Season 4 episode. According to IMDB.com, McGinley appeared in part 2 of “It’s a Bundyful Life.”
The Christmas episode has a guardian angel (Sam Kinison) showing Al what life would be like if he was never born. Peg Bundy (Katey Sagal) is the perfect housewife who loves cooking and cleaning. Bud and Kelly Bundy (David Faustino and Christina Applegate) are smart and respectful children.
The head of the house is Norman Jablonsky (McGinley), a wealthy man who loves his family. Peg and the kids love Norman and claim they don’t need gifts from him, which angers Al. After seeing how happy his family is, Al decides he wants to live and returns home.
The actor loved working on ‘Married…With Children’
Before Married…With Children, McGinley had many notable credits to his name. His previous work included Happy Days, The Love Boat, and Revenge of the Nerds. But it’s his role as Jefferson that many TV fans remember.
McGinley is also proud of the role, which he called “a great, great gig.” In a 2012 interview with AV Club, McGinley reflected on his time with the Fox sitcom. “Amazing cast, super-fun. I mean, I’d have to say that, looking back on the jobs I’ve had, I’ve been so lucky because so many of them have been…there just aren’t any other shows like those.”
Fans can watch Married…With Children reruns on Logo and streaming services like Hulu and Peacock. McGinley is currently co-starring as Christa Miller’s husband on the Apple TV+ series Shrinking.